Welcome to the Rob Clegg Medium blog. While it’s tempting to dig into the vision for your company and start making your idea a reality, it’s important that founders pause and cover their legal bases and establish a strong legal structure off the bat. Robert Clegg outlined some crucial legal documents that no startup should be without.
One of the first crucial decisions you should make when starting a business, is the type of business structure your venture will have in place through an incorporation document. Protect yourself and incorporate your business properly right off the bat and save yourself a lot of trouble down the line. Trust us on this one: many companies do this poorly and end up paying for it in the end.
If your startup has multiple founders or founding parties, it is crucial that every party is on the same page in terms of expectations, obligations and responsibilities and being good friends doesn’t mean you’ll be good business partners say Rob Clegg. You also need to plan for what will happen if one of you wants to leave or sell. A shareholders’ agreement will set everything in stone and define how your company handles money in, money out, shareholders’ exits and management controls.
When your growth demands that you hire employees, it’s imperative that you have an air-tight employment agreement at the ready. Among other things, an employment agreement should make clear whether the contract is fixed-term or indeterminate (i.e., no expiry date), and outline how and/or when the employment relationship can be terminated.
Make sure your ideas and inventions stay in the business — instead of walking out the door with your employees. A proprietary rights/IP assignment agreement will help you do just that, ensuring that all of the concepts and inventions your employees create at work remain the property of your company.
Lastly, keep your secrets safe and out of the back pockets of your competitors and other third parties, such as potential business partners, customers and suppliers. A non-disclosure agreement will help ensure that confidential information stays that way. While time is a precious resource for any startup, founders should prioritize putting these agreements into place to secure their company’s future.
We know launching a startup can be a challenging undertaking, but we’re here to help. Learn more about Rob Clegg by visiting his website here. Connect with Robert Clegg here. Read the latest Robert Clegg news here.